“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” – C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis was known for creating the allegorical wonderland of The Chronicles of Narnia, but his career is equally marked by his work in apologetics, or as John Milton puts it, “justifying the ways of God to men.” And through the proliferation of his writing, gems like this emerge that Christians feel a certain fondness toward, or at least a fondness enough to share it with rabidity.
Many times, when talking to Christians, they will use arguments like the quote above, to what leverage, I am unsure. The basic point of sharing something like this is to say that there are desires in the human heart that are coded deep within the mind of God, that He is the only thing that can truly satisfy you, that at the end of the day, all you need is him.
Phrases like “There are no atheists in a foxhole” or “Every tongue shall confess, every knee will bow” serve as mantras for Christians to communicate the idea that Jesus/God is the only thing in this cold dark world worth living for. There are two pretty big issues that I take with this line of thinking.
1. Free will goes out the window.
Free will is one of the supposed champions of Christianity. Although it is ultimately unsatisfying, it’s what many Christians think gets them out of answering difficult questions about the state of the world.
Oh, it’s fucked up because God, much like Bob Barker, gave us choices. We just chose the wrong door, and didn’t win the BRAND NEW CAR!
But seriously, you’re going to tell me that God creates us with desires that lead us to Him, and hearts that cannot be satisfied and fulfilled without Him…but our free will is completely intact? We come with a manufacturer’s defect unless we buy the random and obscure part that Christians want us to, and we won’t really work without it, but we’re totally free.
If I worked in a deli, I’d call that baloney.
If your God can be said to create beings that are unable to be fulfilled and satisfied fully without his love, He cannot be said to make beings that are entirely capable of choosing not to love him.
2. Notwithstanding free will, Christians are asking a dumb question.
The reason it’s a dumb question is that it essentially boils down to, “Are you ever sad?” I’ve heard many sermons about how fucking women and collecting stuff, which is somehow the Christian avatar for a life without God, is not enough. About how those without God eventually feel a tug in their heart, calling them to return to their Creator. Or worse yet, I hear them compare an atheist with a child that is dead set on keeping what is in their hand to the exclusion of something better, the insinuation that while you might think you’re happy, you’re really not, or at least that you won’t be for long.
And when Christians ask about that nagging thing in your heart at the end of the day, what they’re saying is, “Are you ever sad? Do you ever have a day that’s not good? Does life ever behave in a way other than you think it should?”, to which the answer is an unsurprising “yes.” But this doesn’t mean that we’re broken.
I’ll let a Mufasa paraphrase have the last word: “Well, there’s more to life than getting your way all the time.”
Christians: “There’s more?”
Feel free to like, comment, share, and follow below! If you appreciated this blog, please consider becoming my patron!